Conair guarantees uptime
At NPE2018, auxiliary equipment supplier Conair launched new initiatives designed to keep its customers’ equipment fully operational.
The company’s Uptime Guaranteed initiative promises customers a certain percentage of machinery uptime based on process parameters and a variety of other factors. If the equipment doesn’t meet the promised uptime, Conair will fix or replace it, determine why the equipment didn’t meet the standard and work to make sure it performs as promised in the future.
Conair offers customers an around-the-clock help line. According to the company, about half of all equipment issues can be resolved with a single phone call. Conair ships almost 90 percent of parts orders within one business day, usually in six hours or less.
The company has 60 people available to go to customer sites to address warranty needs, said Sam Rajkovich, VP of sales and marketing. This is important to customers because failure of a part can lead to the shutdown of an entire production line.
“We want to prevent that from happening,” Rajkovich said. If a problem can’t immediately be addressed, a Conair technician “will go out in the field until we make it right.”
Conair’s new SmartServices predictive maintenance program, also announced at NPE, is the basis for the Uptime Guaranteed initiative. A small sensor installed in all Conair equipment as well as in some equipment from other companies wirelessly transmits machine data to a Conair-maintained database in the cloud. Conair keeps the sensor data in the cloud so that it controls any software upgrades, Rajkovich said.
The Conair database uses proprietary algorithms to tell the customer whether a machine is running smoothly, needs maintenance or will fail soon. Green, yellow and red line graphs track key performance indicators (KPIs).
“The sensors tell the customer what is happening as it is happening,” Rajkovich said.
The Conair SmartServices web portal transmits the sensor information to a customer dashboard with a large working screen on one side and user-defined machine groups on the other. By clicking on any machine or group, the user can drill down to find specific KPIs with real-time data. The machine view feature shows schematics of each, with desired performance and actual readings, such as different dryness levels for ingredients in a dryer.
Companies can set different levels of alarms, which the web portal can send via text message, email or both to the appropriate party. For example, minor alerts could go to a line technician, while more serious alerts could go to a manager and still more serious issues are routed to a plant manager. This way, supervisors aren’t bothered with small problems, Rajkovich said. The company also can choose to send critical alarms directly to Conair for faster support.
Customers can use the sensor information to compare performance of different machines of the same type (blenders, dryers, etc.) at the same plant; compare the performance of a plant’s equipment to that of another plant’s; or choose other types of comparisons.
To help build its database of machine KPIs, Conair is offering customers a no-cost, six-month trial in their own facilities.
Phillip Britt, correspondent
Cranberry Township, Pa., 724-584-5500,